Year 10 University Visit, Ten Tors, Pets as Therapy & Musical Success

Year 10 students Inspired by University Visit


Pictured: Year 10 students at Exeter University

Last Friday 70 Year 10 students visited Exeter University to discover more about the benefits of higher education.

Students attended a lecture on all aspects of student life, finance and how higher education can be so beneficial to a young person’s future. The students participated in a question and answer session and were shown around the university by undergraduate ambassadors.

It was a very successful visit and students reported that they felt that their aspirations for the future have grown. They also gained a greater understanding of university life and are less worried about the financial aspects of committing to higher education.

A large number of students expressed a genuine interest in studying at Exeter University and feel more determined to achieve their targets at GCSE and beyond.

Progress Leader for Year 10, Miss Risk said “As always, the Year 10 students were impeccably behaved and were a credit to the Academy.


Good Luck to our Ten Tors Team


Pictured: Me trying to offer some words of ‘wisdom’ to our Ten Tors team before they set off this morning.

Our Ten Tors team departed this morning after packing enough supplies and food to feed an army!

I did my best to inspire them with some words of ‘wisdom’ although I am confident that they do not need it as their weeks of practise walks have prepared them well for what they have in store this weekend.  Team coordinator, Mr Brett, who has helped to train and prepare the team said “I now feel helpless as the team will be on their own over the weekend. My fingers will remain crossed!”

If you want to follow their progress, you can follow their progress live as they check in at each Tor. To do so please follow the link:

The weather forecast is not the best so I wish our team all the best for the journey ahead.



Pets as Therapy Cheque Presentation


Pictured: The cheque being presented to Betty the Dog and trainer Sally

Last Friday we were able to present Betty and her trainer Sally, with a cheque for £172.50 which has been donated to Pets as Therapy.

The money was raised by our students after a non-uniform day last term and was split between UNICEF and Pets as Therapy. These charities were chosen by our student council this year.



James Stone Completes 100 Hours of Community Service


Pictured: James (centre) and family with his certificate awarded by Wendy Chandler (right)

Year 10 student, James Stone, recently received an award for completing 100 hours of community service with the Babbacombe and St Marychurch Lions Club.  James attended an awards evening, where he was awarded the Young Leaders in Service Gold Award by Leslie Chudley (Area Youth Officer).

These awards are given to youngsters who complete between 50 and 100 hours voluntary community work in a 12 month period, but James managed to complete his 100 hours within 6 months by helping at fundraising events, such as their upcoming Racing Nights.

James spoke of a particular project in which they teamed up with ANODE, a Charity that provides a holistic service to help an individual through challenging times, where he helped to make Christmas hampers for deprived families.

James said “volunteering is fun! I like helping people and raising money to help different charities”.

James’ family are extremely proud of what he has achieved.

If you would like to find out how more about the Lions Club please click the following link:


Ducklings Arrival Imminent

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Pictured: (Left) The duck eggs in the incubator and (right) an egg being candled to see its development.

Currently in Science we are incubating 6 duck eggs. They are kept at a temperature of as close to 37.5 Celsius as possible. The incubation time for a duck is 28 days. They are on their 18th day of incubation and are due to hatch on the 18th May.

It is possible to candle the egg to check that there is growth inside, which you can see being done in the pictures above. Mrs Hammond’s Year 9 class did this in their lesson and all eggs are showing signs of development and growth. The students were really excited about what they saw and were very keen to choose names despite them not being hatched yet. Having seen the eggs, our students are also looking forward to looking after the ducklings once they have hatched and go into the brooder to keep warm for 4 weeks.

We have now added a pond to our plans for our Fairfields Farm that we will be developing over the summer. More on that in a future blog post…


Rock Guitar Star! Sophie Stevens Achieves Grade 4


Pictured: Sophie with her grading certificate

Year 12 student Sophie Stevens received her grading certificate this week after successfully reaching Rock Guitar Grade 4.

Sophie travelled to Christow, near Exeter in April to complete a formal exam in order to reach her new grade. The exam had several components. Firstly, Sophie had to perform 2 songs which were given to her prior to the exam. The second section involved Sophie clapping to a rhythm and playing back a riff whilst being judged on accuracy and ability to recognise the musical notes. The final part of the exam was an improvised guitar solo that Sophie had to perform to a backing track after being started off with a set chord sequence.

Sophie began learning to play the guitar through YouTube videos and then went on to have regular lessons here. Mr Farren, our Guitar tutor, has helped her to achieve the level 4 standard through 1 to 1 music tuition.

Sophie, who is studying BTEC Level 3 Music Performance, aims to keep on improving and hopefully be successful in the future as part of a band.

Curriculum team leader of Performing Arts, Miss Pappin said “This is an excellent result for Sophie who has worked exceptionally hard for her exam. To gain such a prestigious award is testament to the years of dedication and hard work that Sophie has put in and she should be very proud of her achievement”.

We currently have ten more students preparing for externally graded exams in guitar, piano and drums which just highlights the talent we have at this school. I will let you know their progress after they have taken their exams.


Year 8 Student Reaches Grade 5 in the French Horn


Pictured: Jack with his French Horn

Staying with the music theme, Year 8 student Jack Bell has also achieved a new grade for the French Horn.

Jack has been playing the French Horn since he was in Year 3 of primary school and similar to Sophie, recently sat a grading exam and passed, making him a Grade 5!

Jack had to perform 3 different pieces of music and also answer several questions about musical notes and expression of pieces played to him.

Harry said that he was happy playing for the enjoyment and will see where it takes him in the future.


Cockington Primary School Academy Visit


Pictured: Students trying to find the answers to their library based quiz.

Students from Cockington Primary School Academy visited us on Friday and enjoyed lessons in Library and Literacy Skills.

The students above can be seen gathering information from the books in our library in order to complete a quiz challenge, designed to improve their library skills.

This has been one of many primary school visits in recent weeks and the feedback from the students has been wonderful.

Our links with local primary schools are improving all the time. It is a pleasure to have these young people in our school and taking advantage of what we have to offer.



Year 8 Parents’ Evening


Pictured: Mr Welsh with a Year 8 student and parents on Parents’ Evening this week

This week was the chance for our Year 8 parents to come in and speak to teachers about their children’s progress.

It was great to see so many parents in school, showing a passion for the progress of our students.


Year 8 Prepare for Bird Box Project


Pictured: Miss Bowden Williams with her year 8 Product Design class

In their Product Design lessons, Miss Bowden Williams’ Year 8 class have been practising their key skills, in particular cutting wood, in preparation for their upcoming bird box project.

Students were cutting their initials out of wood and testing different cutting and finishing techniques.


Cycling Training Opportunities

Torbay Council have been in touch to offer the following cycling opportunities. If you like to ride your bike, these opportunities may be of interest to you.

Holiday Cycle Training – 26-31 May – Parkfield, Paignton & Broadsands

In the school holidays, Torbay Council will be running a full range of cycle training from Parkfield and Broadsands including:

‘Learn to Ride’
Bikeability Level 1
Bikeability Level 2
Adult Cycle Training

Courses available for children aged 6 up to Adults

Pre-booking is essential to guarantee your place on these courses.

Attendees must have a bike in full working order and a safety helmet.

For more details and a booking form please email


Torbay Cycling Festival

Torbay Council would like to invite you to join them to celebrate the opening of the Torbay Velopark, the brand new closed road cycling circuit at Clennon Valley in Paignton. There will be a FREE mass participation ride at the Cycling Festival on 1 June which will be suitable for all the family, even tots on stabilizers and balance bikes. There will be lots more to see and do and the mass participation ride will be followed by racing which will be fun to watch. To register for the mass participation ride please go to


Answer to Math’s Challenge:

Here is a reminder of the maths question that was set in last week’s blog post:
The number 987 654 321 is multiplied by 9. How many times does the digit 8 occur in the result? A) 1 B) 2 C) 3 D) 4 E) 9

The answer is E) 9

Did you manage to get the answer right without using a calculator? Now you know how our Year 8’s felt last week during their math’s challenge…



Sports Round Up


Pictured: Terri Bacon, Olivia Price, Alex Smith, Dan Smith, Katie Gunstone, David McNally and Robbie York. Also in the team but no pictured is Adam Taylor

Our bowls teams began their season this week with a victory against Paignton Community and Sport Academy, played at Kings Bowls club.

We fielded two teams, one winning 7-2 and the other team losing 5-6 in a very close encounter. The format of the league means that both teams shots are added together to produce an overall winner.